Drake University’s commitment to community is deep-seated. Community engagement, the public good, and service-learning, have all been articulated as integral parts of our strategic plans of the past and present. As demonstrated by our inspiration statement, “Together we transform lives and strengthen communities”, we seek to be an “engaged university” that prepares the next generation of civic minded professionals. By signing the Campus Compact Civic Action Statement (https://compact.org/actionstatement/) in February 2016, President Earl F. Martin affirmed Drake’s commitment to:
  1. Empower faculty, staff, students and partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for communities beyond the campus.
  2. Prepare students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good.
  3. Embrace our responsibility as a place-based institution, contributing to the health and strength of our communities – economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, and politically.
  4. Challenge the prevailing social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future through our research, teaching, partnerships, and institutional practices.
  5. Foster an environment that consistently affirms the public purpose of higher education.
The Civic Action Planning process, led by the Office of Community Engaged Learning, has provided an opportunity to celebrate the great work already being done and identify areas needing support, improvement and growth. Using the Unversity Continuous Improvement Plan as the framework, the following four initiatives have been identified as the first steps the university will take to strengthen Drake’s commitment to community engagement.
  1. Teaching & Learning Objective: Provide exceptional undergraduate experiential learning opportunities
  2. Civic Action Initiative: Refine standards for community engaged learning courses and re-develop process for course designation
  3. Reflection Objective: Inspire collaborative planning and data-driven decision making
  4. Civic Action Initiative: Develop an inventory of community partners and ideas for projects
Execution Objective: Elevate Service Excellence
  • Civic Action Initiative: Centralize Drake’s community engagement web presence with the creation of www.drake.edu/community
  • Stewardship Objective: Strengthen engagement with community partners
  • Civic Action Initiative: Formally adopt university wide community partner definitions